How can our kids maintain their reading skills over the summer without feeling like they’re still in school? One of the best ways, I think, is by leisurely reading books – novels and informational text – that they might not have time for, or the inclination to read, during the busy school year.
Kids can select books of their own choice, maybe with a fun trip to the library or by shopping through titles online. They can also enjoy titles suggested by their teachers or parents, or they could search for books on a specific topic that you choose for them. Either way, it’s a great time for kids to deepen their knowledge about interesting topics or absorb some great kids’ literature!
And it’s so easy to incorporate a review of essential reading skills! Book response formats that are designed to go with any title of a certain genre are prefect for times like these.
My favorites at this time of year (and for free reading at other times too!) is these book response bookmarks. I started making them years ago with one bookmark for any fiction title. I posted it as a freebie in my store, and it’s still there – by far the most popular item at Classroom in the Middle. This year, I finally had the chance to work on a bigger project – it was actually suggested by someone who used the fiction bookmark and asked about others for non-fiction books.
This project, which is finished now (Yaaay!), is a set of book response bookmarks, one for each genre or type of book. These bookmarks. like the original, are still two-page foldables that can easily be printed back-to-back on a single sheet of paper – just right for kids to use as a bookmark where it won’t get lost!
Here you can see all of the bookmarks that I’ve included in the set.
Below you can see what is included on both sides of the biography/autobiography bookmark.
As you see in the preview above, main ideas, details, characters, and setting are all included, as well as spaces for students to make inferences, express their opinion of the book, and even draw a little illustration.
Since this one is for biographies and autobiographies, you can see that the focus is important events and accomplishments in the person’s life. Each bookmark is a little different from the others to suit its specific genre.
I can see lots of use for these bookmarks, including summer (or winter holiday) reading, free choice reading at school, and book groups. One of these bookmarks would also be a great comprehension aid for a whole class novel, since it would help kids focus on the elements that you want them to focus on while reading. This way, they will be prepared for a better class discussion after reading the whole book!
If you think that you would find these little book response bookmarks useful, check out a preview at this link.